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he is prefent with them, and they are lying in the de. vil's chains, and at the very brink of death and hell? Surely, holy converse with the godly is, in itself, more delightful, than all the poor merriment and idle drolle. ries of the ungodly. If you think not so, it is because your relish is depraved, the devil hath deluded you, and fin hath bereaved you of your wits._~Thus you see fome of the paths that Wisdom directs us to walk in, that are peace.--I come now,
IV. To the fourth thing proposed, viz. To touch at the nature and qualities of that peace that is to be found in Wisdom's paths. It is a peace that differs vastly from the peace that the wicked may have. I thall therefore, 1. Describe the peace negatively, by shewing what fort of a peace that of the wicked is. 2. I shall describe this peace positively, by shewing what kind of a peace is to be found in Wisdom's paths.
Ist, Let us take a view of this peace negatively, by shewing what kind of a peace that of the wicked is.
1. It is a peace that cannot endure a scriptural trial; the man cannot endure to be searched, but hates the light, John iii. 19, 20.; whereas true peace loves to be searched by the rule of the word, Pfalm xxvi. 1, 2, 3, and cxxxix. 23, 24.
2. It is a peace that stands not upon scriptural evidences; whatever pretences to truth and reality one's peace may have, yea, though it pretend to a great deal of the Spirit, it is false peace, if it have not full evidence from the word, Ifa. viii. 20. and lix. 24.
3. It is a peace that consists with fin 'and sloth. It confifts with the maintainance of known fin; whereas true peace keeps the foul at war with every evil, Psalın 1xvi. 18, 19.-it confilts with floth and security ; where. as true peace kills sloth, and flirs up to fpiritual exercise, Rom. v. 1, 2, 3, 4. Phil. iv. 6, 7, 8. Psal. cxix. 32.
4. It is a peace which pleases the devil, and which raises no opposition to him; whereas true peace is opposed by all the power and policy of hell. See Luke xi. 21. Epli. vi. 11, 12, " When a strong man armad
keeps his palace, his goods are in peace. Put on the
5. The peace of the wicked is a profane peace, Deut.
6. It is a deluded peace: "He feedeth on ashes; a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot de liver his foul, nor fay, Is there not a lie in my righthand,” Ifa. xliv. 20. It is as if a man were sleeping on a top-mast, ready to be fung into the ocean, with every pire of wind, and yet dreaming that he is an universal monarch: Would any man envy him? - This is the case of the profane ; they are in all circumstances of danger, exposed to the loudest thunder of heaven, yet dreaming of nothing but ease and quiet, while ready to plump into the ocean of God's wrath; for they have no shelter, no desence: who would envy them?
7. It is a dangerous and destructive peace, Isa. 1. 11. 1 Thess. v.3. " They say, Peace, peace, when sudden de. Itruction cometh," and is at the door. The prosperity of fools destroys them;" and fo doth the peace of the wicked destroy thein : " They look for peace; and be hold trouble." They think they are safe, when they are just at the perishing for ever.
8. It is a facrilegious peace; fur God allows no peace to his enemies: “ There is no peace, faith my God, to the wicked," Ifa. lvii. 21. If thou art an unconverted man, living in a state of enmity against God, lie doth not allow you one inoinent's quiet of mind; and if you take it, it is theft, it is a taking what is not yours. Consider this, man, in your jovial and revelling hours : your mind should be upon the rack, till the enmity between God and you be taken away, and you be interested in the blefled Peace maker. And the more fo, in regard that there are bars on God's part, and on yours both,
that exclude you from that peace which is only the privilege of those that are in Wisdom's ways.
[1.] On God's part, there are four bars which exclude you from this peace.
(1.) The power of God is a bar that excludes ; God only hath authority to give peace : all the angels in heaven cannot -speak a comfortable word to a sinner, if God be against him. It is he that createth the fruit of : the lips; peace, peace to him that is afar off, and to him that is nigh, Isa. Ivii. 19. It is not men or angels that can create, it is a work peculiar to God alone, Carnal men look upon pardoning grace as an easy thing, that it is easy to give pardon, and easy to take it; yea, but: take a guilty conscience, that fees itself, as it were, hanging over hell, ready to drop in, then all the miniders in the world can do this person no good, except the Lord encourage him. Alas! this is such a hard lock, that no hand, but that of the Spirit of God, can
(2.) The holiness of God is a bar that excludes the wicked from peace. His holiness manifested in the precepts of the law, says,
" Before you have peace, I must have perfect obedience : what have you to do " with peace, as long as your spiritual whoredom doth I remain ?" Again,
(3.) The justice of God is a bar; for, his justice, in the threatening, says, “ Before you have peace, I must “ have satisfaction, Gal. iij. 10.; “ There is no peace, " faith my God, to the wicked,” Ifa. lvii. 21.
(4.) Yea, the mercy of God is a bar : for, as mercy will not vent to the dishonour of justice ; so slighted mercy brings on the forest vengeance, Rom. ii. 4, 5. Heb. ii. 3. X. 28, 29. xii. 25.
[2.] On the finner's own part, there are also four bars, that exclude them from peace.
(1.) Their own corruption is a bar: one fin making way for another; and different lusts make great disturb. ance: See Ifa. lvii. 20. « But the wicked are like the troubled fea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt."
(2.). Their own conscience is a bar that impedes their peace. Conscience will not be satisfied without keeping the law. God's deputy is a terror to the man. It is a Rebecca, feeling the child struggling in her womb. Conscience condemns, and casts daggers at the heart of a sinner.
(3.) Their own crosses are a bar that keep them froma · peace. As the Israelites, when they were in the wilder
ness, and in Egypt, though God stopped their mouths, it could not stop their murmurings: they cannot learo in every state to be content. They fret against God. The cross galls them; and every thing fears them : whereas it is said of the righteous, " He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.!'. It is not so with the wicked.
(4.) Their own comforts are a bar that exclude them from, this peace. As they cannot ferve God without distraction; so they cannot live in prosperity, without dillraction; “ The sleep of a labouring man is sweet,
whether he eat little or.much : but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to fleep,” Eccl. v. 12. A good man can sleep quietly, because he lays his head upon the pillows of God's providence and promise : whereas the wicked, when they pretend to trust their soul with God, yet cannot trust their riches with him : they cannot trust him with their temporal concerns ; their comforts keep them from peace.
2dly, We would now describe this peace positively, frewing what that peace is that is to be found in •Wisdom's, paths.
1. It is an internal peace. There is an outward external peace in the world, between man and man, as I observed in the explication of the words : but worldly peace is oft-times denied unto the godly; for Christ says, “ In the world ye shall have tribulation:" but he hath promised them peace of a spiritual nature, saying, * In me ye shall have peace,” John xvi. 33. This internal peace is either peace above us, with God; or peace within us, in our heart : the one is the caufe, and the other is the effect. Peace with God, is what all true believers have in the first moments of their juftification,
Rom. v. j. and viii. 1. · And this inward peace, resulting from peace with God, may be considered, either as it hath a relation to fin, or to affliction.--As it hath a relation to fin, it hath a threefold aspect. It looks to sin, and the guilt thereof; it looks to God, and his wrath, the delert of fin; and it looks to Christ, and his blood, as the remedy of both, taking guilt from sin, and wrath from God; as making reconciliation through the blood of his crofs : and, in this respect, this 'y peace is a sweet composure and tranquillity of mind,
arising from a sense of pardon, and reconciliation, in " and through the Lord Jesus Christ, wrought in the “ foul by the Spirit of God.”--As it hath relation to affliction, it imports the same thing, namely, a sweet composure of Spirit and tranquillity of mind, flowing from a 'sense of divine favour through Christ;" and further, it contains these three things.
(1.) An acquiescing in and submission to the divine will, whatever befals the man; refolutely to take up the cross, with an absolute resignation to the divine pleasure, 1 Sam. xxv. 25, 26.
(2.) An heroic courage to encounter with difficulties, the soul faying, “ Thro' God we shall do valiantly; for it is he that shall tread down our enemies, Plal. lx. 12.By thee will I run thro? a troopi by my God will I leap over a wall,” Psal. xviii. 29.
(3.) Holy security, and a sweet inward relish of eafe, in the midst of trouble and difficulties. When the storm is whirling about their ears, in patience they pos. fefs their fouls.
This peace as it relates to fin, is opposite to enmity; the enmity hath got a deadly stroke in regeneration and justification : God is at peace with the foul, and the foul is at peace with God, And as it relates to affliction, it is opposite to disquieting thoughts, impatience under trouble, and a fretful disposition,
2. It is a divine peace, and has a divine original. All the three persons of the glorious Trinity are coworkers herein, as the author of this peace. God the Father, he is called the God of peace that bruises Satan under our feet. He gives peace, creates, maintains,